Industry Trend Analysis - IoT: The Industry Connection - December 2017 - FEB 2018

In this edition of The Internet of Things: The Industry Connection, we focus on sectors as diverse as ICT, healthcare, automotives and energy. Some of the biggest developments in the Internet of Things (IoT), and our key views, can be accessed in more detail throughout this report. We highlight:

  • All industries should take note of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)'s plans to end so-called 'network neutrality' rules in the US, because the availability of disruptive technologies that will affect them will be greatly curtailed. The main downside risk is that traditional telecoms operators will either move to squeeze out more advanced offerings from independents in favour of their own, less comprehensive 'me too' variants, or force price increases that will render industry-enhancing disruptive technologies less cost-effective.

  • Dell has unveiled a new IoT strategy, which leverages its acquisitions of EMC and VMware in 2015. The company will launch a series of new products and services, while investing USD1bn over the next three years, as it aims to become the main interlocutor for clients regarding their IoT needs, through a strategy of 'Distributed Computing'. This means a focus on the edge, the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), and the need for partnerships to offer a complete IoT solution.

  • We forecast the Middle East to be the fastest-growing market for e-commerce sales and platform investment over the five years to 2021. An already-high mobile and fixed broadband penetration rate, widespread availability of 3G- and 4G-enabled mobile devices and rapid digitalisation of business processes, allow traditional and digital retailers to quickly establish a presence online. Governments in the region are keen to diversify their economies away from volatile hydrocarbons industries, and e-commerce represents an easily-laid stepping stone to advanced - and monetisable - borderless fintech services.

  • Power utilities will increasingly adopt IoT solutions to improve their operational efficiency and reduce costs - utilising IoT to perform preventative maintenance and increase customer reliability. A recent deal between Exelon and GE to apply the Predix IoT platform to the utility's power T&D subsidiaries, illustrates this trend.

  • The increasing connectivity of medical devices gives rise to heightened cybersecurity risks, accentuating the need for guidelines which include appropriate safety mechanisms to protect patients. There is general consensus that management of potential cybersecurity threats is a 'shared responsibility' amongst all industry stakeholders, which all stand to benefit from guidelines which increase the security and resilience of the Internet of Medical Things.

  • Blockchain technology will continue to be explored in healthcare, principally due to its potential to increase the security and interoperability of healthcare data, thereby improving patient outcomes. In addition to healthcare players reaching out to blockchain developers to make use of data, the FDA's embrace of the technology signals that government agencies are also aware of its potential.